Gmunden at the lake Traunsee
The name Gmunden derives from the German word Gmünd-Gemünd-Gemunden for mouth and refers to its location as Gmunden lies where the Traun River empties into Traunsee Lake. The lake was called “Lacus Felix”, literally “happy lake”, by the Romans.
Traunsee Lake, located at 422.5 meters above Adriatic Sea level, is 12.1km long, 2.9km wide and 191m deep. Gmunden received the town charter in 1278 and is one of the most popular summer resorts in Salzkammergut Lake District, perched on the northern rim of Traunsee Lake with pine-green mountains forming the backdrop. Today, the town has a population of around 15,000.
Gmunden is not exactly a metropolis, but isn’t a sleepy village in the mountains either. There’s more to Gmunden than that. Gmunden is a town with culture and flair, full of life, and at the same time romantic and lively. A town of charms and contrasts, a place for hours of fun and peaceful moments alike. The lively town for shopping, southern in character, invites you to browse and shop or enjoy the culinary offers of its local gastronomy. Its unique location on the river running into Traunsee Lake, surrounded by numerous mountains, invites you to relax and to “simply” find inner peace for the soul.
Warm Hospitality & Culinary Excellence
A vacation in Gmunden wouldn’t be complete without the legendary hospitality best expressed in its native cuisine and friendly accommodations. Everywhere you go, there are lovely places to eat – from rustic mountain refuges and quaint inns to award-winning restaurants. Savor every moment as you explore the tastes and textures of the area’s innovative culinary culture. Matching seasonal food delicacies to award-winning wines adds another glorious dimension to the simple act of refreshment.
The diversity of Gmunden
A Journey Into the Past
Those interested in local history can easily step back in time some 20, 000 years by visiting one of the many historic museums or by walking one of the fine interpretative theme trails, such as the Gmunden Millennium Trail among others.
Nostalgia & Green-Flamed Pottery
The historic horse-drawn railroad, which used to link Gmunden to Budweis (1836-1856), was the first railway on the European continent. Today, you can walk along the original track on the Horse-Drawn Railroad Theme Trail. Or, cruise along Austria’s deepest lake, the lovely Traunsee Lake on the restored paddle steamer “Gisela”, built 1871. And why not get aboard the historic Gmunden Tram (since 1894) and Traunsee Railroad for a truly memorable experience.
As long ago as the 17th century, Gmunden was considered to be the stronghold of old Austrian fine and decorative ceramics. The natural beauty of this area around the Traunsee Lake inspired the ceramic artists to produce very special shapes and colors. Each piece of the Gmunden Ceramics Manufacture (since 1903) is lovingly produced by hand and finished with care. At the manufacture you’ll see artistic work in faience (opaque colored glazes) and the famous green-flamed pottery. Each piece of Gmunden Ceramics is a unique example of the highest standard of ceramic art which is demanded nowadays.
A Castle as Protagonist
One of the more evocative curiosities of Gmunden is the Schloss Orth (Orth Castle), now a ruined jumble of stones built on ancient Roman foundations that’s set on a small island a few yards offshore from Gmunden’s town center, at the far end of the Esplanade. In recent years, the place was the setting for a famous Austrian TV series which has been aired internationally, in Great Britain, France, Italy and even in China!
The place can only be reached by a 120m long timber bridge and is rated as one of Austria’s most magnificent settings to enter into alliance with your loved one: Some 300 couples get spliced with the outstandingly romantic Orth Lake Castle as backdrop each year.